What is fat transfer?
Fat transfer is a popular technique used in both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery. Fat transfer allows a patient to decrease unwanted fat in specific areas (abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, etc.), while adding volume to other target locations that need rejuvenation.
How does it work?
In this technique, liposuction is used to remove excess fat from specific areas of the body and then these fat cells are injected into regions on the body where extra fat is desired. Common situations in which fat injections may be beneficial include: a facelift, a breast augmentation or reconstruction, and a buttock
augmentation. Dr. Kim often uses this technique in breast reconstruction cases, as it enables him to prevent, or fix, common issues of hollowing or rippling in the reconstructed breast. While a fat transfer cannot increase the size of your breasts or buttocks dramatically, it is a good option in procedures such as these because it offers improved contours.
What results should I expect?
In this procedure your surgeon will make short incisions along body creases, in order to avoid noticeable scarring, and give natural-looking results. While you can expect to notice some improvement immediately following your procedure, it takes one year after surgery for the final results to reach their full potential. It is possible that injected fat cells can disperse from the targeted area meaning that sometimes it may take more than one procedure to achieve the look you desire. An important factor to remember when considering a fat transfer is that your results can change if you lose or gain weight.
What is the recovery like?
A fat transfer is typically an outpatient procedure, so you can expect to be home within 2-4 hours. A compression garment will be provided and is recommended for the next few weeks; this garment will provide support and help to minimize swelling. Pain, bruising, and swelling after the procedure are normal, therefore pain medicine may be prescribed as well.
What are the risks?
Cysts, infection, and microcalcifications (small mineral deposits) are the some known risks following a fat transfer, but because these fat cells are harvested from your own body, there is no risk of allergic reaction. The best approach to becoming educated on the risks of this procedure, or any procedure, is to discuss with your surgeon – don’t be afraid to ask questions!